Just As I Thought

I need to raise my prices

This is a classic entry from the “What Were They Thinking?” department: the London Olympics logo.

This is a classic entry from the “What Were They Thinking?” department: the London Olympics logo.

What were they thinking??

So far, the best description I’ve read:

[Columnist Tom] Lutz noted that the organizers say the new logo represents “the Olympic spirit and the ability of the Games to inspire people to take part.” But, he said, “others would say that it represents the multicolored vomit sprayed across the capital’s pavements at 3 a.m. on your average Sunday morning.”

Now, I’ll let you in on a little secret of professional designers: we generally will come up with a design that we like, that fits all the requirements, with less time and effort than the client realizes… but then we use up most of the time and resources in creating a backstory or explanation for the design that fits it, retroactively.

In this case, I think they should have taken a bit more time on the design and a bit less on the explanation. Which I still can’t find a cogent argument for.

The organizers also claim that the logo is “never static and will always be moving,” which makes me feel a bit queasy. They’ve used arguments like “it’s not a badge or a stamp but a state of mind” and “be the change you want to see.” They insist that it is not a logo, but a brand, which also rubs me the wrong way seeing as how the Olympics are no longer about the ideals of peaceful athletic competition but instead are about branding and selling as many products as possible to a global audience.

Last but not least, it cost more than $800,000 to produce this mess. The next time I charge a client a couple hundred for a logo and they think I am charging too much, I’m going to just show them what they could get for slightly less than a million dollars.


  • Yeah, I’m not crazy about it either. All it says to me — literally — is “London 2012” (if I look hard enough); you’d expect more from a logo than that.

  • Ugh, yes I saw this on the “Fake Steve Jobs” blog the other day. Unbelievable. This is what happens when committees guide creative endeavors, instead of egomaniacal dictators — oops I mean ”strong-willed leaders’ like Steve Jobs.

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